The Country Managing Director, Accenture Nigeria, Niyi Yusuf, has urged Nigerians to leverage on innovation to boost productivity, economic prosperity and improve growth prospects.

Speaking during the maiden edition of the Nigeria Innovation Index 2018, organised by Accenture Nigeria, in Lagos, he added that innovation is critical for to have a competitive edge in today’s markets.

Accenture Nigeria is a global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital technology and operations.

The Innovation Index focuses on the financial services sector and how key industry players, banks and Fintechs utilise innovation to drive organisational growth and economic value.

The Index also seeks to highlight and showcase innovation role models who are inculcating innovation into the very culture of their organisations, as well as creating products, processes, people and service innovations.

“Ideas are the new currency, but having good ideas is not good enough. Organisations, which retain and grow market share are those that generates better ideas and implement them at a faster pace.

“It is only those that seamlessly integrate innovation into everything they do that will achieve sustainable growth and retain competitive advantage,” he said.

Yusuf noted that banks and Fintechs that participated in the maiden Accenture Nigeria innovation Index, provided insight on how they leveraged innovation to stabilise and drive growth for maximum benefit.

He said that on average, organisations invest 35 per cent of annual revenues in innovation and realise a 40.5 per cent return.

“However a few outliers invest 22 per cent of revenues and achieve returns of 61 per cent, 1.5 times the market average.

“As we dig deeper to understand what they do differently to achieve such returns on their innovations, a number of key themes stood out as differentiating factors.

“Strategy, innovative culture, talent, collaboration, business Intelligence and digital innovation leaders scored significantly higher across these areas than other organizations,” he noted.”

Managing Director, Financial Services, Accenture, Toluleke Adenmosun, said innovative leaders give more control to their employees for ideation and offer strong incentives as a reward for innovative ideas.

“Innovation leaders prioritise projects, foster a strong collaboration culture central to their innovation strategy, use digital as a business enabler and revenue generator, and leverage the power of ecosystems to gather intelligence.

“The Index indicates that Innovation Leaders are cultivating their people to be innovative, encouraging employees to share ideas openly and promoting the use of interactive tools and digital platforms for collaboration.

“Innovation Leaders clearly see opportunities in leveraging the broader ecosystem, while 85 per cent look to academia, clients and suppliers to crowd source information to innovate,” she said.

According to Accenture, 13 banks and 17 Fintechs participated in the maiden edition of the Nigeria Innovation Index. Wema Bank got the award for innovation masters and innovation concepts, sharing the award for strategy, ideation and absorption with Access Bank.

Flutterwave and Paystack, under the Fintech category, got the award for strategy and absorption. Flutter wave also got an award for innovation masters.

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